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Latest news about information security threats and incidents

Prevention of security threats and incidents described below is wiser and cheaper than forensic investigations and mitigation of the consequences of a cyber attack. You can get evidence of this fact from the news below. Use our services to find and mitigate your security vulnerabilities before the security threat agents find them.


U S disaster relief agency leaks private data of hurricane survivors

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is activating a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Mozambique to lead the U.S. Government's response to Cyclone Idai, which has caused catastrophic flooding, killed hundreds of people, and affected hundreds of thousands of others in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. (more)

Posted on 24 March 2019 6:04 pm


Low - DSA-4415 - passenger security update

An arbitrary file read vulnerability was discovered in passenger, a web application server. A local user allowed to deploy an application to passenger, can take advantage of this flaw by creating a symlink from the REVISION file to an arbitrary file on the system and have its content displayed through passenger-status. (more)

Posted on 24 March 2019 3:16 pm


WordPress Social Warfare plugin zero-day exploited in attacks

News and articles about cyber security, information security, vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, releases, software, features, hacks, laws, spam, viruses, malware, trojans. WordPress Social Warfare plugin zero-day exploited in attacks. A Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Social Warfare installations (v3. (more)

Posted on 24 March 2019 1:52 pm


Pwn2Own 2019 – Tesla Car Internet Browser Hacked – Hackers Won the Car & $545,000 in Total – Day 3

First and the second-day contest ended up with a various successful attempt to exploit the different bugs in multiple software vendors including, Microsoft, VMware, Oracle and Apple. In Pwn2Own 2019 final day, Zero Day Initiative introduced the Tesla car in automotive category and the Fluoroacetate.... (more)

Posted on 24 March 2019 5:27 am


This Spyware Data Leak Is So Bad We Can't Even Tell You About It - Motherboard

This story is part of When Spies Come Home , a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their loved ones. A company that sells consumer-grade software that lets customers spy on other people’s calls, messages, and anything they do on their cell phones.... (more)

Posted on 24 March 2019 3:02 am


FEMA leaks sensitive details of 2.3 million disaster survivors

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General has released a report revealing that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) couldn’t protect the private and confidential information of about 2.3 million hurricane survivors. In 2017, residents of Harvey, Maria, Irma, and.... (more)

Posted on 24 March 2019 1:30 am


Cisco Patches High Severity Vulnerabilities in IP Phones

Cisco this week released security patches to address high severity vulnerabilities in its IP Phone 8800 Series and IP Phone 7800 Series. A total of five vulnerabilities were addressed, all impacting the web-based management interface of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Software of IP Phone 8800 Series. (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 8:12 pm


Police Federation reveals cyber attack against its HQ

Malicious actors have hit the computer systems of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) with a malware attack that, at one point, threatened to spread across the entire organisation. The association body representing near-120,000 officers was alerted to an attack on 9 March by its cyber.... (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 2:49 pm


WordPress 3.4.2 The-CL-Amazon-Thingy Plugins 1.0 Open Redirection - CXSecurity.com

############################################################################################ # Exploit Title : WordPress 3.4.2 The-CL-Amazon-Thingy Plugins 1.0 Open Redirection # Author [ Discovered By ] : KingSkrupellos # Team : Cyberizm Digital Security Army # Date : 23/03/2019 # Vendor Homepage : wordpress. (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 2:12 pm


Cisco IP Phone 8800 Web-based Management Interface cross site request forgery

A vulnerability was found in Cisco IP Phone 8800 . It has been rated as problematic. This issue affects some processing of the component Web-based Management Interface . The manipulation with an unknown input leads to a cross site request forgery vulnerability. Using CWE to declare the problem leads to CWE-352 . (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 11:01 am


Cyber Risk Management: Why Automation is Essential - BankInfoSecurity.com

Michelle Cobb, CMO, Skybox Security. The challenge of wanted to adopt the latest and greatest point products, as opposed to opting for a more platform-based approach, seems never-ending, and can only be managed by bringing greater amounts of automation to bear, says Michelle Cobb, CMO of Skybox Security. (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 7:55 am


Northrop Grumman to support cyber, electronic warfare capabilities for Army forces - Aerotech News

The U.S. Army has selected Northrop Grumman as one of multiple companies competing for task orders issued under R4, an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract with a ceiling of $982 million. The contract will enable the Army to procure an entire range of cyber electromagnetic activities.... (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 6:15 am


NSE arm buys cybersecurity firm Aujas Networks - ETCIO.com

NSE arm buys cybersecurity firm Aujas Networks The acquisition will help NSEIT provide various cybersecurity offerings to enterprises, including cybersecurity assessments, risk management, security product implementation and, security monitoring and response. (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 4:38 am


Dragos’ Sergio Caltagirone to Speak at Cyber Security for Critical Assets

, provider of the industrial industrys most trusted asset identification, threat detection and response platform and services, announced today that Sergio Caltagirone , Vice President of Threat Intelligence, will address the current industrial control system (ICS) threat landscape at the upcoming.... (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 4:08 am


Sources: EU Expert to Urge Monitoring 5G Risks, Not Huawei Ban

BRUSSELS — The European Commission will next week urge EU countries to share more data to tackle cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks but will ignore U.S. calls to ban Huawei Technologies, four people familiar with the matter said Friday. European digital chief Andrus Ansip will present the recommendation Tuesday. (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 3:19 am


Creating a More Diverse Cybersecurity Workforce

Ruth Gomel-Kafri, director of product design at the security policy company Tufin, discusses her work overseeing the company’s product design group and what it’s like to work at a cybersecurity organization with such an impressively diverse workforce. Join us in the fight against cybercrime: https://www. (more)

Posted on 23 March 2019 2:17 am


GDPR: Data Breach Notification 101

Brian Honan, president and CEO, BH Consulting. Since the EU's new privacy law came into effect on May 25, 2018, one challenge for organizations that suffer a breach is knowing whether or not they must report it to authorities, says Brian Honan, president and CEO of BH Consulting in Dublin. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 11:25 pm


The Future of Cybersecurity Education - Part 1

Rob Clyde, board chair of ISACA and John McCumber, director of cybersecurity advocacy of (ISC)2. What is the role of professional certification companies in the cybersecurity education ecosystem? In part one of a two-part panel discussion on the future of cybersecurity education, John McCumber of.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 9:54 pm


Warnings Issued About Medtronic Cardiac Devices

Federal regulators and medical device maker Medtronic have issued warnings about cybersecurity vulnerabilities in certain cardiac devices from the manufacturer that could allow attackers to manipulate the products' functionality, posing potential safety risks to patients. See Also: No Attacks Known. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 9:39 pm


EU Seeks Better Coordination to Battle Next Big Cyberattack - BankInfoSecurity.com

Europol's new protocol seeks better public-private information sharing to battle cyberattacks and control outbreaks. The EU is looking to head off the next major cyberattack against Europe by creating rules for how member states should react and respond. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 9:34 pm


A business world in the Clouds

Safeguarding against the security pitfalls of Cloud-Based Platforms. Majority of us are intimately familiar with the concept of ‘the Cloud’, the seemingly omnipresent information sharing and storage solution. But how much do you know about the security systems that defend it? Most of you may already.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 8:45 pm


Video ad fraud has been draining phone batteries

When is a banner ad not a banner ad? When it's a hidden video ad generating fraudulent advertising revenue while draining your phone battery and using your valuable data allowance. As BuzzFeed reports , it's been discovered that in-app banner ads have been hijacked on a massive scale to generate.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 8:00 pm


Navicent Health says it was recently a victim of a cyber attack - wgxa.tv

MACON, Ga. – Navicent Health in Macon says it was recently the victim of a cyber attack. "An unauthorized third party illegally accessed employee and hosted email accounts," Navicent says. "Upon learning of the attack, Navicent Health commenced a prompt, extensive, and thorough investigation. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 6:57 pm


Turn in your smartphones: How Mueller kept a lid on Trump-Russia probe

Washington: When members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's role in the 2016 US election arrived for work each day, they placed their mobile phones in a locker outside of their office suite before entering. Operating in secrecy in a nondescript glass-and-concrete office,.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 6:06 pm


2 Million Emails of 350K+ Clients Possibly Exposed in Oregon DHS Data Breach

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that roughly 2 million emails with Protected Health Information (PHI) from more than 350,000 customers have been potentially exposed after 9 employee mailboxes were compromised in a spear phishing attack. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 5:01 pm


Norsk Hydro cyber attack: What’s new?

early this week. was hit by ransomware-wielding attackers The company lost no time in reacting and responding to the attack – they notified the authorities, called in experts to help, and (very laudably) committed to keeping the public informed. In the latest official update on the situation, the.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 4:55 pm


Vulnerability Assessments Versus Penetration Tests: A Common Misconception

X-Force Red is an autonomous team of veteran hackers within IBM Security that is hired to break into organizations and uncover risky vulnerabilities that criminal attackers may use for personal gain. Our team recently unveiled new statistics collected from its penetration testing engagements. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 4:26 pm


Dunford to meet with Google for ‘debate’ on Chinese ties

His comments followed up on statements made in a Senate hearing last week, where he said Google was “indirectly benefiting the Chinese military” by its operations in the communist nation. Asked to follow up on those conversations Thursday, the chairman expressed the belief that no company can do work in China without it being siphoned off. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 3:57 pm


BT licensing analytics

is licensing the telecoms company’s cyber security visual analytics, SATURN, to QiO Technologies , an analytics and artificial intelligence software company. BT says it developed SATURN to ingest and analyse huge amounts of data using AI, and then present a real-time visual representation of a network to users, such as cyber security engineers. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 2:21 pm


Police Widow Spent $410,000 on Herself That Should Have Gone to Slain Officers’ Families, Officials Say

Lorraine Shanley leaves Federal District Court in Manhattan after being charged with stealing from Survivors of the Shield, a charity for the families of police officers who have died in the line of duty. Credit Credit Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 1:50 pm


Magecart payment card skimmer gang returns stronger than ever

Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to hide malicious code on e-commerce websites with the goal of stealing payment card details. Known as web skimmers, these malicious scripts have led to major breaches at online retailers over the past year and will very likely continue to cause problems for some time to come. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 1:28 pm


Microsoft Brings Defender ATP Platform to macOS

Photo: Thunderclap.io A decade or more ago, it would have been unthinkable: Microsoft developing an anti-malware platform for macOS. See Also: The Application Security Team's Framework For Upgrading Legacy Applications But that's exactly what Microsoft announced on Thursday. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 12:27 pm


North Carolina’s Orange County Hit by Third Ransomware Attack in Six Years

Orange County in North Carolina suffered its third ransomware infection in six years, the local government announced on its website on Monday. The attack, probably stemming from a phishing email, a very common practice in such situations, crippled the county’s IT infrastructure and left a number of departments struggling with operations. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 10:53 am


Cost of telecommunications fraud estimated at €29 billion a year

News and articles about cyber security, information security, vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, releases, software, features, hacks, laws, spam, viruses, malware, trojans. Cost of telecommunications fraud estimated at €29 billion a year. As our society evolves, so does our reliance on telecommunications technology. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 10:06 am


Researchers Earn $270,000 for Firefox, Edge Hacks at Pwn2Own 2019 (SecurityWeek)

White hat hackers earned a total of $270,000 on the second day of the Pwn2Own hacking competition for demonstrating exploits against the Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge web browsers. Amat Cama and Richard Zhu of team Fluoroacetate earned $50,000 for a Firefox exploit with kernel escalation. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 9:31 am


BEST PRACTICES: How to protect yourself from the enduring scourge of malvertising

By Byron V. Acohido. Malvertising is rearing its ugly head – yet again. Malicious online ads have surged and retreated in cycles since the earliest days of the Internet. Remember when infectious banner ads and viral toolbars cluttered early browsers? Related: Web application exposures redouble.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 9:23 am


Businesses have cybersecurity best practice guidelines but fail in practice

Almost 70% of companies have cybersecurity best practice guidelines in place but neglect to take the necessary steps to secure their business. A staggering 44% of businesses admitted to not securing removable devices using anti-virus software, leaving their IT systems exposed to cybersecurity risks.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 9:13 am


Experts to help boards tackle cybersecurity threats

News and articles about cyber security, information security, vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, releases, software, features, hacks, laws, spam, viruses, malware, trojans. Experts to help boards tackle cybersecurity threats. A consortium of UK cyber security experts including UCL academics is to.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 8:27 am


Evidence mounts that Russian hackers are trying to disrupt the EU elections - Engadget

Russian hackers are targeting government systems ahead of the EU parliament election , according to cybersecurity company FireEye. The firm says that two state-sponsored hacking groups -- APT28 (aka Fancy Bear) and Sandworm -- have been sending out authentic-looking phishing emails to officials in a bid to get hold of government information. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 7:12 am


Agencies lament govt's 'patchwork' cyber security model

Questions have been raised over the effectiveness of the federal government’s approach to cyber security, with unenforced mandatory rules creating ‘patchwork’ resilience across the Commonwealth. In a parliamentary committee hearing into cyber resilience on Thursday, representatives from the National.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 5:51 am


Nozomi Networks shares research and tools to help ICS community defend against cyber threats

News and articles about cyber security, information security, vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, releases, software, features, hacks, laws, spam, viruses, malware, trojans. Nozomi Networks shares research and tools to help ICS community defend against cyber threats. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 5:11 am


13-year-old Student Accused of Hacking Teacher’s Account To Create Student Hit List

A 13-year-old student accused of using his teacher’s credentials to get into his district school system to steal the fellow student’s personal details and created a site with a “hit-list” of names, school ID numbers, and dates of births. He posted the students personal information of his fellow.... (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 4:29 am


Zero-Day Stored XSS in Social Warfare

Zero-Day Stored XSS in Social Warfare. Exploitation Level: Easy / Remote. DREAD Score: 7.2. Vulnerability: Stored XSS. Patched Version: 3.5.3. A zero-day vulnerability has just appeared in the WordPress plugin world, affecting over 70,000 sites using the plugin. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 4:19 am


Facebook Did Not Securely Store Passwords. Here’s What You Need to Know. - The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Thursday that millions of user account passwords had been stored insecurely, potentially allowing employees to gain access to people’s accounts without their knowledge. The Silicon Valley company around the same time that Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity writer, reported the password vulnerability. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 4:18 am


Code42 Next-Gen Data Loss Protection solution helps speed detection and response to insider threats

, the leader in next-gen data loss protection, announced its Code42 Next-Gen Data Loss Protection solution now includes advanced data exfiltration detection. A policy-free alternative to traditional data loss prevention (DLP), Code42’s enhanced solution offers security teams even more visibility into file movement. (more)

Posted on 22 March 2019 3:46 am


Medtronic Conexus Radio Frequency Telemetry Protocol

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 21 March 2019 4:00 pm


AVEVA InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Edge HMI

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 19 March 2019 4:05 pm


Columbia Weather Systems MicroServer

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 19 March 2019 4:00 pm


LCDS - Leão Consultoria e Desenvolvimento de Sistemas Ltda ME LAquis SCADA ELS Files

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 14 March 2019 4:10 pm


Gemalto Sentinel UltraPro

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 14 March 2019 4:05 pm


PEPPERL+FUCHS WirelessHART-Gateways

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 14 March 2019 4:00 pm


Rockwell Automation RSLinx Classic

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 5 March 2019 3:48 pm


PSI GridConnect Telecontrol

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 28 February 2019 5:00 pm


Moxa IKS, EDS

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 26 February 2019 7:51 pm


Intel Data Center Manager SDK

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 19 February 2019 5:15 pm


Delta Industrial Automation CNCSoft

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 19 February 2019 5:10 pm


Horner Automation Cscape

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 19 February 2019 5:05 pm


Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley PowerMonitor 1000

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 19 February 2019 5:00 pm


Pangea Communications Internet FAX ATA

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 14 February 2019 5:05 pm


gpsd Open Source Project

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 14 February 2019 5:00 pm


OSIsoft PI Vision

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 12 February 2019 5:25 pm


Siemens EN100 Ethernet Communication Module and SIPROTEC 5 Relays

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 12 February 2019 5:20 pm


WIBU SYSTEMS AG WibuKey Digital Rights Management (Update B)

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 12 February 2019 5:15 pm


Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 CPU

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 12 February 2019 5:10 pm


Siemens Intel Active Management Technology of SIMATIC IPCs

Advisory Document (more)

Posted on 12 February 2019 5:05 pm


AA19-024A: DNS Infrastructure Hijacking Campaign

Original release date: January 24, 2019 | Last revised: February 13, 2019 Summary The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), part of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), is aware of a global Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure hijacking campaign. Using compromised credentials, an attacker can modify the location to which an organization’s domain name resources resolve. This enables the attacker to redirect user traffic to attacker-controlled infrastructure and obtain valid encryption certificates for an organization’s domain names, enabling man-in-the-middle attacks. See the following links for downloadable copies of open-source indicators of compromise (IOCs) from the sources listed in the References section below: IOCs (.csv) IOCs (.stix) Note: these files were last updated February 13, 2019, to remove the following three non-malicious IP addresses: 107.161.23.204 192.161.187.200 209.141.38.71 Technical Details Using the following techniques, attackers have redirected and intercepted web and mail traffic, and could do so for other networked services. The attacker begins by compromising user credentials, or obtaining them through alternate means, of an account that can make changes to DNS records. Next, the attacker alters DNS records, like Address (A), Mail Exchanger (MX), or Name Server (NS) records, replacing the legitimate address of a service with an address the attacker controls. This enables them to direct user traffic to their own infrastructure for manipulation or inspection before passing it on to the legitimate service, should they choose. This creates a risk that persists beyond the period of traffic redirection. Because the attacker can set DNS record values, they can also obtain valid encryption certificates for an organization’s domain names. This allows the redirected traffic to be decrypted, exposing any user-submitted data. Since the certificate is valid for the domain, end users receive no error warnings. Mitigations NCCIC recommends the following best practices to help safeguard networks against this threat: Update the passwords for all accounts that can change organizations’ DNS records. Implement multifactor authentication on domain registrar accounts, or on other systems used to modify DNS records. Audit public DNS records to verify they are resolving to the intended location. Search for encryption certificates related to domains and revoke any fraudulently requested certificates. References Cisco Talos blog: DNSpionage Campaign Targets Middle East CERT-OPMD blog: [DNSPIONAGE] – Focus on internal actions FireEye blog: Global DNS Hijacking Campaign: DNS Record Manipulation at Scale Crowdstrike blog: Widespread DNS Hijacking Activity Targets Multiple Sectors Revisions January 24, 2019: Initial version February 6, 2019: Updated IOCs, added Crowdstrike blog February 13, 2019: Updated IOCs This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 24 January 2019 10:01 pm


AA18-337A: SamSam Ransomware

Original release date: December 03, 2018 Summary The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are issuing this activity alert to inform computer network defenders about SamSam ransomware, also known as MSIL/Samas.A. Specifically, this product shares analysis of vulnerabilities that cyber actors exploited to deploy this ransomware. In addition, this report provides recommendations for prevention and mitigation. The SamSam actors targeted multiple industries, including some within critical infrastructure. Victims were located predominately in the United States, but also internationally. Network-wide infections against organizations are far more likely to garner large ransom payments than infections of individual systems. Organizations that provide essential functions have a critical need to resume operations quickly and are more likely to pay larger ransoms. The actors exploit Windows servers to gain persistent access to a victim’s network and infect all reachable hosts. According to reporting from victims in early 2016, cyber actors used the JexBoss Exploit Kit to access vulnerable JBoss applications. Since mid-2016, FBI analysis of victims’ machines indicates that cyber actors use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to gain persistent access to victims’ networks. Typically, actors either use brute force attacks or stolen login credentials. Detecting RDP intrusions can be challenging because the malware enters through an approved access point. After gaining access to a particular network, the SamSam actors escalate privileges for administrator rights, drop malware onto the server, and run an executable file, all without victims’ action or authorization. While many ransomware campaigns rely on a victim completing an action, such as opening an email or visiting a compromised website, RDP allows cyber actors to infect victims with minimal detection. Analysis of tools found on victims’ networks indicated that successful cyber actors purchased several of the stolen RDP credentials from known darknet marketplaces. FBI analysis of victims’ access logs revealed that the SamSam actors can infect a network within hours of purchasing the credentials. While remediating infected systems, several victims found suspicious activity on their networks unrelated to SamSam. This activity is a possible indicator that the victims’ credentials were stolen, sold on the darknet, and used for other illegal activity. SamSam actors leave ransom notes on encrypted computers. These instructions direct victims to establish contact through a Tor hidden service site. After paying the ransom in Bitcoin and establishing contact, victims usually receive links to download cryptographic keys and tools to decrypt their network. Technical Details NCCIC recommends organizations review the following SamSam Malware Analysis Reports. The reports represent four SamSam malware variants. This is not an exhaustive list. MAR-10219351.r1.v2 – SamSam1 MAR-10166283.r1.v1 – SamSam2 MAR-10158513.r1.v1 – SamSam3 MAR-10164494.r1.v1 – SamSam4 For general information on ransomware, see the NCCIC Security Publication at https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/Ransomware . Mitigations DHS and FBI recommend that users and administrators consider using the following best practices to strengthen the security posture of their organization's systems. System owners and administrators should review any configuration changes before implementation to avoid unwanted impacts. Audit your network for systems that use RDP for remote communication. Disable the service if unneeded or install available patches. Users may need to work with their technology venders to confirm that patches will not affect system processes. Verify that all cloud-based virtual machine instances with public IPs have no open RDP ports, especially port 3389, unless there is a valid business reason to keep open RDP ports. Place any system with an open RDP port behind a firewall and require users to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access that system. Enable strong passwords and account lockout policies to defend against brute force attacks. Where possible, apply two-factor authentication. Regularly apply system and software updates. Maintain a good back-up strategy. Enable logging and ensure that logging mechanisms capture RDP logins. Keep logs for a minimum of 90 days and review them regularly to detect intrusion attempts. When creating cloud-based virtual machines, adhere to the cloud provider’s best practices for remote access. Ensure that third parties that require RDP access follow internal policies on remote access. Minimize network exposure for all control system devices. Where possible, disable RDP on critical devices. Regulate and limit external-to-internal RDP connections. When external access to internal resources is required, use secure methods such as VPNs. Of course, VPNs are only as secure as the connected devices. Restrict users' ability (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications. Scan for and remove suspicious email attachments; ensure the scanned attachment is its "true file type" (i.e., the extension matches the file header). Disable file and printer sharing services. If these services are required, use strong passwords or Active Directory authentication. Additional information on malware incident prevention and handling can be found in Special Publication 800-83, Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling for Desktops and Laptops , from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. [1] Contact Information To report an intrusion and request resources for incident response or technical assistance, contact NCCIC, FBI, or the FBI’s Cyber Division via the following information: NCCIC NCCICCustomerService@hq.dhs.gov 888-282-0870 FBI’s Cyber Division CyWatch@fbi.gov 855-292-3937 FBI through a local field office Feedback DHS strives to make this report a valuable tool for our partners and welcomes feedback on how this publication could be improved. You can help by answering a few short questions about this report at the following URL: https://www.us-cert.gov/forms/feedback . References [1] NIST SP 800-83: Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling for Desktops and Laptops Revisions December 3, 2018: Initial version This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 3 December 2018 6:18 pm


TA18-331A: 3ve – Major Online Ad Fraud Operation

Original release date: November 27, 2018 Systems Affected Microsoft Windows Overview This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). DHS and FBI are releasing this TA to provide information about a major online ad fraud operation—referred to by the U.S. Government as "3ve"—involving the control of over 1.7 million unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses globally, when sampled over a 10-day window. Description Online advertisers desire premium websites on which to publish their ads and large numbers of visitors to view those ads. 3ve created fake versions of both (websites and visitors), and funneled the advertising revenue to cyber criminals. 3ve obtained control over 1.7 million unique IPs by leveraging victim computers infected with Boaxxe/Miuref and Kovter malware, as well as Border Gateway Protocol-hijacked IP addresses.  Boaxxe/Miuref Malware Boaxxe malware is spread through email attachments and drive-by downloads. The ad fraud scheme that utilizes the Boaxxe botnet is primarily located in a data center. Hundreds of machines in this data center are browsing to counterfeit websites. When these counterfeit webpages are loaded into a browser, requests are made for ads to be placed on these pages. The machines in the data center use the Boaxxe botnet as a proxy to make requests for these ads. A command and control (C2) server sends instructions to the infected botnet computers to make the ad requests in an effort to hide their true data center IPs. Kovter Malware Kovter malware is also spread through email attachments and drive-by downloads. The ad fraud scheme that utilizes the Kovter botnet runs a hidden Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) browser on the infected machine that the user cannot see. A C2 server tells the infected machine to visit counterfeit websites. When the counterfeit webpage is loaded in the hidden browser, requests are made for ads to be placed on these counterfeit pages. The infected machine receives the ads and loads them into the hidden browser. Impact For the indicators of compromise (IOCs) below, keep in mind that any one indicator on its own may not necessarily mean that a machine is infected. Some IOCs may be present for legitimate applications and network traffic as well, but are included here for completeness. Boaxxe/Miuref Malware Boaxxe malware leaves several executables on the infected machine. They may be found in one or more of the following locations: %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\lsass.aaa %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Temp\<RANDOM>.exe %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<Random eight-character folder name>\<original file name>.exe The HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) “Run” key is set to the path to one of the executables created above. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\<Above path to executable>\ Kovter Malware Kovter malware is found mostly in the registry, but the following files may be found on the infected machine: %UserProfile\AppData\Local\Temp\<RANDOM> .exe/.bat %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM FILENAME>.exe %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM>.lnk %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM>.bat Kovter is known to hide in the registry under: HKCU\SOFTWARE\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM> The customized CEF browser is dropped to: %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<RANDOM> The keys will look like random values and contain scripts. In some values, a User-Agent string can be clearly identified. An additional key containing a link to a batch script on the hard drive may be placed within registry key: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run There are several patterns in the network requests that are made by Kovter malware when visiting the counterfeit websites. The following are regex rules for these URL patterns: /?ptrackp=\d{5,8} /feedrs\d/click?feed_id=\d{1,5}&sub_id=\d{1,5}&cid=[a-f0-9-]*&spoof_domain=[\w\.\d-_]*&land_ip=\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3} /feedrs\d/vast_track?a=impression&feed_id=\d{5}&sub_id=\d{1,5}&sub2_id=\d{1,5}&cid=[a-f\d-] The following is a YARA rule for detecting Kovter: rule KovterUnpacked {   meta:     desc = "Encoded strings in unpacked Kovter samples."   strings:     $ = "7562@3B45E129B93"     $ = "@ouhKndCny"     $ = "@ouh@mmEdctffdsr"     $ = "@ouhSGQ"   condition:     all of them } Solution If you believe you may be a victim of 3ve and its associated malware or hijacked IPs, and have information that may be useful to investigators, submit your complaint to www.ic3.gov and use the hashtag 3ve (#3ve) in the body of your complaint. DHS and FBI advise users to take the following actions to remediate malware infections associated with Boaxxe/Miuref or Kovter: Use and maintain antivirus software. Antivirus software recognizes and protects your computer against most known viruses. Security companies are continuously updating their software to counter these advanced threats. Therefore, it is important to keep your antivirus software up-to-date. If you suspect you may be a victim of malware, update your antivirus software definitions and run a full-system scan. (See Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more information.) Avoid clicking links in email. Attackers have become very skilled at making phishing emails look legitimate. Users should ensure the link is legitimate by typing the link into a new browser. (See Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks .) Change your passwords. Your original passwords may have been compromised during the infection, so you should change them. (See Choosing and Protecting Passwords .) Keep your operating system and application software up-to-date. Install software patches so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. You should enable automatic updates of the operating system if this option is available. (See Understanding Patches and Software Updates  for more information.) Use anti-malware tools. Using a legitimate program that identifies and removes malware can help eliminate an infection... (more)

Posted on 27 November 2018 7:09 pm


AA18-284A: Publicly Available Tools Seen in Cyber Incidents Worldwide

Original release date: October 11, 2018 Summary This report is a collaborative research effort by the cyber security authorities of five nations: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] In it we highlight the use of five publicly available tools, which have been used for malicious purposes in recent cyber incidents around the world. The five tools are: Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost Webshell: China Chopper Credential Stealer: Mimikatz Lateral Movement Framework: PowerShell Empire C2 Obfuscation and Exfiltration: HUC Packet Transmitter To aid the work of network defenders and systems administrators, we also provide advice on limiting the effectiveness of these tools and detecting their use on a network. The individual tools we cover in this report are limited examples of the types of tools used by threat actors. You should not consider this an exhaustive list when planning your network defense. Tools and techniques for exploiting networks and the data they hold are by no means the preserve of nation states or criminals on the dark web. Today, malicious tools with a variety of functions are widely and freely available for use by everyone from skilled penetration testers, hostile state actors and organized criminals, to amateur cyber criminals. The tools in this Activity Alert have been used to compromise information across a wide range of critical sectors, including health, finance, government, and defense. Their widespread availability presents a challenge for network defense and threat-actor attribution. Experience from all our countries makes it clear that, while cyber threat actors continue to develop their capabilities, they still make use of established tools and techniques. Even the most sophisticated threat actor groups use common, publicly available tools to achieve their objectives. Whatever these objectives may be, initial compromises of victim systems are often established through exploitation of common security weaknesses. Abuse of unpatched software vulnerabilities or poorly configured systems are common ways for a threat actor to gain access. The tools detailed in this Activity Alert come into play once a compromise has been achieved, enabling attackers to further their objectives within the victim’s systems. How to Use This Report The tools detailed in this Activity Alert fall into five categories: Remote Access Trojans (RATs), webshells, credential stealers, lateral movement frameworks, and command and control (C2) obfuscators. This Activity Alert provides an overview of the threat posed by each tool, along with insight into where and when it has been deployed by threat actors. Measures to aid detection and limit the effectiveness of each tool are also described. The Activity Alert concludes with general advice for improving network defense practices. Technical Details Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost   First observed in May 2015, the JBiFrost RAT is a variant of the Adwind RAT, with roots stretching back to the Frutas RAT from 2012. A RAT is a program that, once installed on a victim’s machine, allows remote administrative control. In a malicious context, it can—among many other functions—be used to install backdoors and key loggers, take screen shots, and exfiltrate data. Malicious RATs can be difficult to detect because they are normally designed not to appear in lists of running programs and can mimic the behavior of legitimate applications. To prevent forensic analysis, RATs have been known to disable security measures (e.g., Task Manager) and network analysis tools (e.g., Wireshark) on the victim’s system. In Use JBiFrost RAT is typically employed by cyber criminals and low-skilled threat actors, but its capabilities could easily be adapted for use by state-sponsored threat actors. Other RATs are widely used by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actor groups, such as Adwind RAT, against the aerospace and defense sector; or Quasar RAT, by APT10, against a broad range of sectors. Threat actors have repeatedly compromised servers in our countries with the purpose of delivering malicious RATs to victims, either to gain remote access for further exploitation, or to steal valuable information such as banking credentials, intellectual property, or PII. Capabilities JBiFrost RAT is Java-based, cross-platform, and multifunctional. It poses a threat to several different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, MAC OS X, and Android. JBiFrost RAT allows threat actors to pivot and move laterally across a network or install additional malicious software. It is primarily delivered through emails as an attachment, usually an invoice notice, request for quotation, remittance notice, shipment notification, payment notice, or with a link to a file hosting service. Past infections have exfiltrated intellectual property, banking credentials, and personally identifiable information (PII). Machines infected with JBiFrost RAT can also be used in botnets to carry out distributed denial-of-service attacks. Examples Since early 2018, we have observed an increase in JBiFrost RAT being used in targeted attacks against critical national infrastructure owners and their supply chain operators. There has also been an increase in the RAT’s hosting on infrastructure located in our countries. In early 2017, Adwind RAT was deployed via spoofed emails designed to look as if they originated from Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, network services. Many other publicly available RATs, including variations of Gh0st RAT, have also been observed in use against a range of victims worldwide. Detection and Protection Some possible indications of a JBiFrost RAT infection can include, but are not limited to: Inability to restart the computer in safe mode, Inability to open the Windows Registry Editor or Task Manager, Significant increase in disk activity and/or network traffic, Connection attempts to known malicious Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and Creation of new files and directories with obfuscated or random names. Protection is best afforded by ensuring systems and installed applications are all fully patched and updated. The use of a modern antivirus program with automatic definition updates and regular system scans will also help ensure that most of the latest variants are stopped in their tracks. You should ensure that your organization is able to collect antivirus detections centrally across its estate and investigate RAT detections efficiently. Strict application whitelisting is recommended to prevent infections from occurring. The initial infection mechanism for RATs, including JBiFrost RAT, can be via phishing emails... (more)

Posted on 11 October 2018 6:19 pm


TA18-276B: Advanced Persistent Threat Activity Exploiting Managed Service Providers

Original release date: October 03, 2018 Systems Affected Network Systems Overview The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) is aware of ongoing APT actor activity attempting to infiltrate the networks of global managed service providers (MSPs). Since May 2016, APT actors have used various tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the purposes of cyber espionage and intellectual property theft. APT actors have targeted victims in several U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including Information Technology (IT), Energy, Healthcare and Public Health, Communications, and Critical Manufacturing. This Technical Alert (TA) provides information and guidance to assist MSP customer network and system administrators with the detection of malicious activity on their networks and systems and the mitigation of associated risks. This TA includes an overview of TTPs used by APT actors in MSP network environments, recommended mitigation techniques, and information on reporting incidents. Description MSPs provide remote management of customer IT and end-user systems. The number of organizations using MSPs has grown significantly over recent years because MSPs allow their customers to scale and support their network environments at a lower cost than financing these resources internally. MSPs generally have direct and unfettered access to their customers’ networks, and may store customer data on their own internal infrastructure. By servicing a large number of customers, MSPs can achieve significant economies of scale. However, a compromise in one part of an MSP’s network can spread globally, affecting other customers and introducing risk. Using an MSP significantly increases an organization’s virtual enterprise infrastructure footprint and its number of privileged accounts, creating a larger attack surface for cyber criminals and nation-state actors. By using compromised legitimate MSP credentials (e.g., administration, domain, user), APT actors can move bidirectionally between an MSP and its customers’ shared networks. Bidirectional movement between networks allows APT actors to easily obfuscate detection measures and maintain a presence on victims’ networks. Note: NCCIC previously released information related to this activity in Alert TA17-117A: Intrusions Affecting Multiple Victims Across Multiple Sectors published on April 27, 2017, which includes indicators of compromise, signatures, suggested detection methods, and recommended mitigation techniques. Technical Details APT APT actors use a range of “living off the land” techniques to maintain anonymity while conducting their attacks. These techniques include using legitimate credentials and trusted off-the-shelf applications and pre-installed system tools present in MSP customer networks. Pre-installed system tools, such as command line scripts, are very common and used by system administrators for legitimate processes. Command line scripts are used to discover accounts and remote systems. PowerSploit is a repository of Microsoft PowerShell and Visual Basic scripts and uses system commands such as netsh . PowerSploit, originally developed as a legitimate penetration testing tool, is widely misused by APT actors. These scripts often cannot be blocked because they are legitimate tools, so APT actors can use them and remain undetected on victim networks. Although network defenders can generate log files, APT actors’ use of legitimate scripts makes it difficult to identify system anomalies and other malicious activity. When APT actors use system tools and common cloud services, it can also be difficult for network defenders to detect data exfiltration. APT actors have been observed using Robocopy—a Microsoft command line tool—to transfer exfiltrated and archived data from MSP client networks back through MSP network environments. Additionally, APT actors have been observed using legitimate PuTTY Secure Copy Client functions, allowing them to transfer stolen data securely and directly to third-party systems. Impact A successful network intrusion can have severe impacts to the affected organization, particularly if the compromise becomes public. Possible impacts include Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, Disruption to regular operations, Financial losses to restore systems and files, and Potential harm to the organization’s reputation. Solution Detection Organizations should configure system logs to detect incidents and to identify the type and scope of malicious activity. Properly configured logs enable rapid containment and appropriate response. Response An organization’s ability to rapidly respond to and recover from an incident begins with the development of an incident response capability. An organization’s response capability should focus on being prepared to handle the most common attack vectors (e.g., spearphishing, malicious web content, credential theft). In general, organizations should prepare by Establishing and periodically updating an incident response plan. Establishing written guidelines that prioritize incidents based on mission impact, so that an appropriate response can be initiated. Developing procedures and out-of-band lines of communication to handle incident reporting for internal and external relationships. Exercising incident response measures for various intrusion scenarios regularly, as part of a training regime. Committing to an effort that secures the endpoint and network infrastructure: prevention is less costly and more effective than reacting after an incident. Mitigation Manage Supply Chain Risk MSP clients that do not conduct the majority of their own network defense should work with their MSP to determine what they can expect in terms of security. MSP clients should understand the supply chain risk associated with their MSP. Organizations should manage risk equally across their security, legal, and procurement groups. MSP clients should also refer to cloud security guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to learn about MSP terms of service, architecture, security controls, and risks associated with cloud computing and data protection. [1] [2] [3] Architecture Restricting access to networks and systems is critical to containing an APT actor’s movement. Provided below are key items that organizations should implement and periodically audit to ensure their network environment’s physical and logical architecture limits an APT actor’s visibility and access. Virtual Private Network Connection Recommendations Use a dedicated Virtual Private Network (VPN) for MSP connection... (more)

Posted on 3 October 2018 2:47 pm


TA18-276A: Using Rigorous Credential Control to Mitigate Trusted Network Exploitation

Original release date: October 03, 2018 Systems Affected Network Systems Overview This technical alert addresses the exploitation of trusted network relationships and the subsequent illicit use of legitimate credentials by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors. It identifies APT actors' tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and describes the best practices that could be employed to mitigate each of them. The mitigations for each TTP are arranged according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework core functions of Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. Description APT actors are using multiple mechanisms to acquire legitimate user credentials to exploit trusted network relationships in order to expand unauthorized access, maintain persistence, and exfiltrate data from targeted organizations. Suggested best practices for administrators to mitigate this threat include auditing credentials, remote-access logs, and controlling privileged access and remote access. Impact APT actors are conducting malicious activity against organizations that have trusted network relationships with potential targets, such as a parent company, a connected partner, or a contracted managed service provider (MSP). APT actors can use legitimate credentials to expand unauthorized access, maintain persistence, exfiltrate data, and conduct other operations, while appearing to be authorized users. Leveraging legitimate credentials to exploit trusted network relationships also allows APT actors to access other devices and other trusted networks, which affords intrusions a high level of persistence and stealth. Solution Recommended best practices for mitigating this threat include rigorous credential and privileged-access management, as well as remote-access control, and audits of legitimate remote-access logs. While these measures aim to prevent the initial attack vectors and the spread of malicious activity, there is no single proven threat response. Using a defense-in-depth strategy is likely to increase the odds of successfully disrupting adversarial objectives long enough to allow network defenders to detect and respond before the successful completion of a threat actor’s objectives. Any organization that uses an MSP to provide services should monitor the MSP's interactions within their organization’s enterprise networks, such as account use, privileges, and access to confidential or proprietary information. Organizations should also ensure that they have the ability to review their security and monitor their information hosted on MSP networks. APT TTPs and Corresponding Mitigations The following table displays the TTPs employed by APT actors and pairs them with mitigations that network defenders can implement. Table 1: APT TTPs and Mitigations APT TTPs Mitigations Preparation Allocate operational infrastructure, such as Internet Protocol addresses (IPs). Gather target credentials to use for legitimate access. Protect: Educate users to never click unsolicited links or open unsolicited attachments in emails. Implement an awareness and training program. Detect: Leverage multi-sourced threat-reputation services for files, Domain Name System (DNS), Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), IPs, and email addresses. Engagement Use legitimate remote access, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Leverage a trusted relationship between networks. Protect: Enable strong spam filters to prevent phishing emails from reaching end users. Authenticate inbound email using Sender Policy Framework; Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance; and DomainKeys Identified Mail to prevent email spoofing. Prevent external access via RDP sessions and require VPN access. Enforce multi-factor authentication and account-lockout policies to defend against brute force attacks. Detect: Leverage multi-sourced threat-reputation services for files, DNS, URLs, IPs, and email addresses. Scan all incoming and outgoing emails to detect threats and filter out executables. Audit all remote authentications from trusted networks or service providers for anomalous activity. Respond and Recover: Reset credentials, including system accounts. Transition to multifactor authentication and reduce use of password-based systems, which are susceptible to credential theft, forgery, and reuse across multiple systems. Presence Execution and Internal Reconnaissance: Write to disk and execute malware and tools on hosts. Use interpreted scripts and run commands in shell to enumerate accounts, local network, operating system, software, and processes for internal reconnaissance. Map accessible networks and scan connected targets. Lateral Movement: Use remote services and log on remotely. Use legitimate credentials to move laterally onto hosts, domain controllers, and servers. Write to remote file shares, such as Windows administrative shares. Credential Access: Locate credentials, dump credentials, and crack passwords. Protect: Deploy an anti-malware solution, which also aims to prevent spyware and adware. Prevent the execution of unauthorized software, such as Mimikatz, by using application whitelisting. Deploy PowerShell mitigations and, in the more current versions of PowerShell, enable monitoring and security features. Prevent unauthorized external access via RDP sessions. Restrict workstations from communicating directly with other workstations. Separate administrative privileges between internal administrator accounts and accounts used by trusted service providers. Enable detailed session-auditing and session-logging. Detect: Audit all remote authentications from trusted networks or service providers. Detect mismatches by correlating credentials used within internal networks with those employed on external-facing systems. Log use of system administrator commands, such as net, ipconfig, and ping. Audit logs for suspicious behavior. Use whitelist or baseline comparison to monitor Windows event logs and network traffic to detect when a user maps a privileged administrative share on a Windows system. Leverage multi-sourced threat-reputation services for files, DNS, URLs, IPs, and email addresses. Respond and Recover: Reset credentials. Monitor accounts associated with a compromise for abnormal behaviors, including unusual connections to nonstandard resources or attempts to elevate privileges, enumerate, or execute unexpected programs or applications... (more)

Posted on 3 October 2018 2:00 pm


TA18-275A: HIDDEN COBRA – FASTCash Campaign

Original release date: October 02, 2018 | Last revised: December 21, 2018 Systems Affected Retail Payment Systems Overview This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Working with U.S. government partners, DHS, Treasury, and FBI identified malware and other indicators of compromise (IOCs) used by the North Korean government in an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme—referred to by the U.S. Government as “FASTCash.” The U.S. Government refers to malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government as HIDDEN COBRA. For more information on HIDDEN COBRA activity, visit https://www.us-cert.gov/hiddencobra . FBI has high confidence that HIDDEN COBRA actors are using the IOCs listed in this report to maintain a presence on victims’ networks to enable network exploitation. DHS, FBI, and Treasury are distributing these IOCs to enable network defense and reduce exposure to North Korean government malicious cyber activity. This TA also includes suggested response actions to the IOCs provided, recommended mitigation techniques, and information on reporting incidents. If users or administrators detect activity associated with the malware families associated with FASTCash, they should immediately flag it, report it to the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) or the FBI Cyber Watch (CyWatch), and give it the highest priority for enhanced mitigation. NCCIC conducted analysis on 10 malware samples related to this activity and produced a Malware Analysis Report (MAR). MAR-10201537, HIDDEN COBRA FASTCash-Related Malware, examines the tactics, techniques, and procedures observed in the malware. Visit the MAR-10201537 page for the report and associated IOCs. Description Since at least late 2016, HIDDEN COBRA actors have used FASTCash tactics to target banks in Africa and Asia. At the time of this TA’s publication, the U.S. Government has not confirmed any FASTCash incidents affecting institutions within the United States. FASTCash schemes remotely compromise payment switch application servers within banks to facilitate fraudulent transactions. The U.S. Government assesses that HIDDEN COBRA actors will continue to use FASTCash tactics to target retail payment systems vulnerable to remote exploitation. According to a trusted partner’s estimation, HIDDEN COBRA actors have stolen tens of millions of dollars. In one incident in 2017, HIDDEN COBRA actors enabled cash to be simultaneously withdrawn from ATMs located in over 30 different countries. In another incident in 2018, HIDDEN COBRA actors enabled cash to be simultaneously withdrawn from ATMs in 23 different countries.   HIDDEN COBRA actors target the retail payment system infrastructure within banks to enable fraudulent ATM cash withdrawals across national borders. HIDDEN COBRA actors have configured and deployed malware on compromised switch application servers in order to intercept and reply to financial request messages with fraudulent but legitimate-looking affirmative response messages. Although the infection vector is unknown, all of the compromised switch application servers were running unsupported IBM Advanced Interactive eXecutive (AIX) operating system versions beyond the end of their service pack support dates; there is no evidence HIDDEN COBRA actors successfully exploited the AIX operating system in these incidents. HIDDEN COBRA actors exploited the targeted systems by using their knowledge of International Standards Organization (ISO) 8583—the standard for financial transaction messaging—and other tactics. HIDDEN COBRA actors most likely deployed ISO 8583 libraries on the targeted switch application servers. Malicious threat actors use these libraries to help interpret financial request messages and properly construct fraudulent financial response messages. Figure 1: Anatomy of a FASTCash scheme A review of log files showed HIDDEN COBRA actors making typos and actively correcting errors while configuring the targeted server for unauthorized activity. Based on analysis of the affected systems, analysts believe that malware—used by HIDDEN COBRA actors and explained in the Technical Details section below—inspected inbound financial request messages for specific primary account numbers (PANs). The malware generated fraudulent financial response messages only for the request messages that matched the expected PANs. Most accounts used to initiate the transactions had minimal account activity or zero balances. Analysts believe HIDDEN COBRA actors blocked transaction messages to stop denial messages from leaving the switch and used a GenerateResponse* function to approve the transactions. These response messages were likely sent for specific PANs matched using CheckPan() verification (see figure 1 for additional details on CheckPan() ). Technical Details HIDDEN COBRA actors used malicious Windows executable applications, command-line utility applications, and other files in the FASTCash campaign to perform transactions and interact with financial systems, including the switch application server. The initial infection vector used to compromise victim networks is unknown; however, analysts surmise HIDDEN COBRA actors used spear-phishing emails in targeted attacks against bank employees. HIDDEN COBRA actors likely used Windows-based malware to explore a bank’s network to identify the payment switch application server. Although these threat actors used different malware in each known incident, static analysis of malware samples indicates similarities in malware capabilities and functionalities. HIDDEN COBRA actors likely used legitimate credentials to move laterally through a bank’s network and to illicitly access the switch application server. This pattern suggests compromised systems within a bank’s network were used to access and compromise the targeted payment switch application server. Upon successful compromise of a bank’s payment switch application server, HIDDEN COBRA actors likely injected malicious code into legitimate processes—using command-line utility applications on the payment switch application server—to enable fraudulent behavior by the system in response to what would otherwise be normal payment switch application server activity. NCCIC collaborated with Symantec cybersecurity researchers to provide additional context on existing analysis [1] . Malware samples analyzed included malicious AIX executable files intended for a proprietary UNIX operating system developed by IBM. The AIX executable files were designed to inject malicious code into a currently running process... (more)

Posted on 2 October 2018 6:45 pm


TA18-201A: Emotet Malware

Original release date: July 20, 2018 Systems Affected Network Systems Overview Emotet is an advanced, modular banking Trojan that primarily functions as a downloader or dropper of other banking Trojans. Emotet continues to be among the most costly and destructive malware affecting state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, and the private and public sectors. This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) analytic efforts, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). Description Emotet continues to be among the most costly and destructive malware affecting SLTT governments. Its worm-like features result in rapidly spreading network-wide infection, which are difficult to combat. Emotet infections have cost SLTT governments up to $1 million per incident to remediate. Emotet is an advanced, modular banking Trojan that primarily functions as a downloader or dropper of other banking Trojans. Additionally, Emotet is a polymorphic banking Trojan that can evade typical signature-based detection. It has several methods for maintaining persistence, including auto-start registry keys and services. It uses modular Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) to continuously evolve and update its capabilities. Furthermore, Emotet is Virtual Machine-aware and can generate false indicators if run in a virtual environment. Emotet is disseminated through malspam (emails containing malicious attachments or links) that uses branding familiar to the recipient; it has even been spread using the MS-ISAC name. As of July 2018, the most recent campaigns imitate PayPal receipts, shipping notifications, or “past-due” invoices purportedly from MS-ISAC. Initial infection occurs when a user opens or clicks the malicious download link, PDF, or macro-enabled Microsoft Word document included in the malspam. Once downloaded, Emotet establishes persistence and attempts to propagate the local networks through incorporated spreader modules. Figure 1: Malicious email distributing Emotet Currently, Emotet uses five known spreader modules: NetPass.exe, WebBrowserPassView, Mail PassView, Outlook scraper, and a credential enumerator. NetPass.exe is a legitimate utility developed by NirSoft that recovers all network passwords stored on a system for the current logged-on user. This tool can also recover passwords stored in the credentials file of external drives. Outlook scraper is a tool that scrapes names and email addresses from the victim’s Outlook accounts and uses that information to send out additional phishing emails from the compromised accounts. WebBrowserPassView is a password recovery tool that captures passwords stored by Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera and passes them to the credential enumerator module. Mail PassView is a password recovery tool that reveals passwords and account details for various email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Gmail and passes them to the credential enumerator module. Credential enumerator is a self-extracting RAR file containing two components: a bypass component and a service component. The bypass component is used for the enumeration of network resources and either finds writable share drives using Server Message Block (SMB) or tries to brute force user accounts, including the administrator account. Once an available system is found, Emotet writes the service component on the system, which writes Emotet onto the disk. Emotet’s access to SMB can result in the infection of entire domains (servers and clients). Figure 2: Emotet infection process To maintain persistence, Emotet injects code into explorer.exe and other running processes. It can also collect sensitive information, including system name, location, and operating system version, and connects to a remote command and control server (C2), usually through a generated 16-letter domain name that ends in “.eu.” Once Emotet establishes a connection with the C2, it reports a new infection, receives configuration data, downloads and runs files, receives instructions, and uploads data to the C2 server. Emotet artifacts are typically found in arbitrary paths located off of the AppData\Local and AppData\Roaming directories. The artifacts usually mimic the names of known executables. Persistence is typically maintained through Scheduled Tasks or via registry keys. Additionally, Emotet creates randomly-named files in the system root directories that are run as Windows services. When executed, these services attempt to propagate the malware to adjacent systems via accessible administrative shares. Note: it is essential that privileged accounts are not used to log in to compromised systems during remediation as this may accelerate the spread of the malware. Example Filenames and Paths: C:\Users\<username>\AppData \Local\Microsoft\Windows\shedaudio.exe C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia\bin\flashplayer.exe Typical Registry Keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run System Root Directories: C:\Windows\11987416.exe C:\Windows\System32\46615275.exe C:\Windows\System32\shedaudio.exe C:\Windows\SysWOW64\f9jwqSbS.exe Impact Negative consequences of Emotet infection include temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, disruption to regular operations, financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and potential harm to an organization’s reputation. Solution NCCIC and MS-ISAC recommend that organizations adhere to the following general best practices to limit the effect of Emotet and similar malspam: Use Group Policy Object to set a Windows Firewall rule to restrict inbound SMB communication between client systems. If using an alternative host-based intrusion prevention system (HIPS), consider implementing custom modifications for the control of client-to-client SMB communication. At a minimum, create a Group Policy Object that restricts inbound SMB connections to clients originating from clients. Use antivirus programs, with automatic updates of signatures and software, on clients and servers. Apply appropriate patches and updates immediately (after appropriate testing). Implement filters at the email gateway to filter out emails with known malspam indicators, such as known malicious subject lines, and block suspicious IP addresses at the firewall... (more)

Posted on 21 July 2018 12:24 am


TA18-149A: HIDDEN COBRA – Joanap Backdoor Trojan and Brambul Server Message Block Worm

Original release date: May 29, 2018 | Last revised: May 31, 2018 Systems Affected Network systems Overview This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Working with U.S. government partners, DHS and FBI identified Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and other indicators of compromise (IOCs) associated with two families of malware used by the North Korean government: a remote access tool (RAT), commonly known as Joanap; and a Server Message Block (SMB) worm, commonly known as Brambul. The U.S. Government refers to malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government as HIDDEN COBRA. For more information on HIDDEN COBRA activity, visit https://www.us-cert.gov/hiddencobra . FBI has high confidence that HIDDEN COBRA actors are using the IP addresses—listed in this report’s IOC files—to maintain a presence on victims’ networks and enable network exploitation. DHS and FBI are distributing these IP addresses and other IOCs to enable network defense and reduce exposure to any North Korean government malicious cyber activity. This alert also includes suggested response actions to the IOCs provided, recommended mitigation techniques, and information on how to report incidents. If users or administrators detect activity associated with these malware families, they should immediately flag it, report it to the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) or the FBI Cyber Watch (CyWatch), and give it the highest priority for enhanced mitigation. See the following links for a downloadable copy of IOCs: IOCs (.csv) IOCs (.stix) NCCIC conducted analysis on four malware samples and produced a Malware Analysis Report (MAR). MAR-10135536.3 – RAT/Worm examines the tactics, techniques, and procedures observed in the malware. Visit MAR-10135536.3 – HIDDEN COBRA RAT/Worm for the report and associated IOCs. Description According to reporting of trusted third parties, HIDDEN COBRA actors have likely been using both Joanap and Brambul malware since at least 2009 to target multiple victims globally and in the United States—including the media, aerospace, financial, and critical infrastructure sectors. Users and administrators should review the information related to Joanap and Brambul from the Operation Blockbuster Destructive Malware Report [1] in conjunction with the IP addresses listed in the .csv and .stix files provided within this alert. Like many of the families of malware used by HIDDEN COBRA actors, Joanap, Brambul, and other previously reported custom malware tools, may be found on compromised network nodes. Each malware tool has different purposes and functionalities. Joanap malware is a fully functional RAT that is able to receive multiple commands, which can be issued by HIDDEN COBRA actors remotely from a command and control server. Joanap typically infects a system as a file dropped by other HIDDEN COBRA malware, which users unknowingly downloaded either when they visit sites compromised by HIDDEN COBRA actors, or when they open malicious email attachments. During analysis of the infrastructure used by Joanap malware, the U.S. Government identified 87 compromised network nodes. The countries in which the infected IP addresses are registered are as follows: Argentina Belgium Brazil Cambodia China Colombia Egypt India Iran Jordan Pakistan Saudi Arabia Spain Sri Lanka Sweden Taiwan Tunisia Malware often infects servers and systems without the knowledge of system users and owners. If the malware can establish persistence, it could move laterally through a victim’s network and any connected networks to infect nodes beyond those identified in this alert. Brambul malware is a brute-force authentication worm that spreads through SMB shares. SMBs enable shared access to files between users on a network. Brambul malware typically spreads by using a list of hard-coded login credentials to launch a brute-force password attack against an SMB protocol for access to a victim’s networks. Technical Details Joanap Joanap is a two-stage malware used to establish peer-to-peer communications and to manage botnets designed to enable other operations. Joanap malware provides HIDDEN COBRA actors with the ability to exfiltrate data, drop and run secondary payloads, and initialize proxy communications on a compromised Windows device. Other notable functions include file management, process management, creation and deletion of directories, and node management. Analysis indicates the malware encodes data using Rivest Cipher 4 encryption to protect its communication with HIDDEN COBRA actors. Once installed, the malware creates a log entry within the Windows System Directory in a file named mssscardprv.ax. HIDDEN COBRA actors use this file to capture and store victims’ information such as the host IP address, host name, and the current system time. Brambul Brambul malware is a malicious Windows 32-bit SMB worm that functions as a service dynamic link library file or a portable executable file often dropped and installed onto victims’ networks by dropper malware. When executed, the malware attempts to establish contact with victim systems and IP addresses on victims’ local subnets. If successful, the application attempts to gain unauthorized access via the SMB protocol (ports 139 and 445) by launching brute-force password attacks using a list of embedded passwords. Additionally, the malware generates random IP addresses for further attacks. Analysts suspect the malware targets insecure or unsecured user accounts and spreads through poorly secured network shares. Once the malware establishes unauthorized access on the victim’s systems, it communicates information about victim’s systems to HIDDEN COBRA actors using malicious email addresses. This information includes the IP address and host name—as well as the username and password—of each victim’s system. HIDDEN COBRA actors can use this information to remotely access a compromised system via the SMB protocol. Analysis of a newer variant of Brambul malware identified the following built-in functions for remote operations: harvesting system information, accepting command-line arguments, generating and executing a suicide script, propagating across the network using SMB, brute forcing SMB login credentials, and generating Simple Mail Transport Protocol email messages containing target host system information. Detection and Response This alert’s IOC files provide HIDDEN COBRA IOCs related to Joanap and Brambul... (more)

Posted on 29 May 2018 3:18 pm


TA18-145A: Cyber Actors Target Home and Office Routers and Networked Devices Worldwide

Original release date: May 25, 2018 | Last revised: June 07, 2018 Systems Affected Small office/home office (SOHO) routers Networked devices Network-attached storage (NAS) devices Overview Cybersecurity researchers have identified that foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide [1]   [2] [3] . The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office/home office (SOHO) routers. VPNFilter malware uses modular functionality to collect intelligence, exploit local area network (LAN) devices, and block actor-configurable network traffic. Specific characteristics of VPNFilter have only been observed in the BlackEnergy malware, specifically BlackEnergy versions 2 and 3. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recommend that owners of SOHO routers power cycle (reboot) SOHO routers and networked devices to temporarily disrupt the malware. DHS and FBI encourage SOHO router owners to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local FBI field office or the FBI’s 24/7 Cyber Watch (CyWatch). Field office contacts can be identified at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field . CyWatch can be contacted by phone at 855-292-3937 or by email at CyWatch@fbi.gov. Each submitted report should include as much informaiton as possible, specifically the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people, the type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designated point of contact. Description The size and scope of this infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant. The persistent VPNFilter malware linked to this infrastructure targets a variety of SOHO routers and network-attached storage devices. The initial exploit vector for this malware is currently unknown. The malware uses a modular functionality on SOHO routers to collect intelligence, exploit LAN devices, and block actor-configurable network traffic. The malware can render a device inoperable, and has destructive functionality across routers, network-attached storage devices, and central processing unit (CPU) architectures running embedded Linux. The command and control mechanism implemented by the malware uses a combination of secure sockets layer (SSL) with client-side certificates for authentication and TOR protocols, complicating network traffic detection and analysis. Impact Negative consequences of VPNFilter malware infection include: temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, disruption to regular operations, financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and potential harm to an organization’s reputation. Solution DHS and FBI recommend that all SOHO router owners power cycle (reboot) their devices to temporarily disrupt the malware. Network device management interfaces—such as Telnet, SSH, Winbox, and HTTP—should be turned off for wide-area network (WAN) interfaces, and, when enabled, secured with strong passwords and encryption. Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware, which often contain patches for vulnerabilities. Rebooting affected devices will cause non-persistent portions of the malware to be removed from the system. Network defenders should ensure that first-stage malware is removed from the devices, and appropriate network-level blocking is in place prior to rebooting affected devices. This will ensure that second stage malware is not downloaded again after reboot. While the paths at each stage of the malware can vary across device platforms, processes running with the name "vpnfilter" are almost certainly instances of the second stage malware. Terminating these processes and removing associated processes and persistent files that execute the second stage malware would likely remove this malware from targeted devices. References [1] New VPNFilter malware targets at least 500K networking devices worldwide [2] Justice Department Announces Actions to Disrupt Advanced Persistent Threat 28 Botnet of Infected Routers and Network Storage [3] VPNFilter Update - VPNFilter exploits endpoints, targets new devices Revision History May 25, 2018: Initial Version June 7, 2018: Added link to June 6, 2018 Cisco Talos blog update on VPNFilter This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 25 May 2018 9:22 pm



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